Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Miami vs. Louisville
Brad Edwards (ESPN) – Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Scout.com/CollegeFootballNews.com – Duke vs. Louisville
Jerry Palm – Miami vs. Louisville
ESPN ACC – Duke
SB Nation– Miami vs. Louisville
Athlon Sports– Miami vs. Louisville
Sporting News– Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Orlando Sentinel– Miami vs. Louisville
Stewart Mandel/SI– Duke vs. Louisville
USA Today– Miami vs. Louisville
In what will be the final bowl projections before the selection this weekend, very little has changed from previous weeks. Louisville (10-1, 6-1 AAC) remains the unanimous choice, of the experts, out of the American Athletic Conference to head to Orlando, while Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC) is the experts favorite in the ACC with Duke and Virginia Tech also appearing in projections.
The Cardinals sat idle this weekend before finishing up their regular season schedule this Thursday with a trip to Cincinnati (9-2, 6-1 AAC). Both Louisville and Cincinnati boast top 10 defenses with the Cardinals only allowing 11.4 points per game (3rd in the FBS) and the Bearcats surrendering 18.5 ppg (10th in the FBS). Cincinnati enters with a chance to claim the inaugural American crown as with a win over Louisville and a UCF loss, the berth in the BCS for the conference would be decided in the final BCS ranking.
In the ACC, Miami closed out its regular season with a 41-31 win over Pittsburgh this past Friday. Senior wide receiver Allen Hurns hauled in nine Stephen Morris passes for 173 yards in the win. The Hurricane defense caused two turnovers in the game including a fourth quarter interception by Artie Burns to seal the win.
Duke (10-2, 6-2 ACC) will make its first appearance in the ACC Championship game this weekend going up against Florida State (12-0, 8-0 ACC). The Blue Devils closed out their regular season with a 27-25 come from behind win over in-state rival North Carolina. Ross Martin hit a 27 yard field goal with 2:22 left in the game to give Duke the lead and earn its berth in the championship game this weekend. The Blue Devils will be looking for their first conference championship since being led by Steve Spurrier in 1989.
All said and done, there were 13 teams that appeared in at least one projection throughout the season, nine from the ACC and four from the American. Miami led the way in the ACC with 67 individual projections, while Louisville led the American with 66 selections including unanimous selections out of the conference following their week eight loss to UCF. 16 different matchups were projected at some point during the season with the most common matchup projected by the experts being Miami vs. Louisville appearing 35 different times. Jerry Palm from CBS Sports and Jason Kirk from SBNation were the first two experts to project this matchup. Miami at one point during the season appeared in a projection against all four projected teams from the American. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech appeared in projections against three of the four American teams.